Like most people who are prone to snack, a new item at Trader Joe's was something I was simply unable to resist. Even the (very long) name was enticing: Chocolatey Coated Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Bites. Individually wrapped, the bites were just 100 calories each, making them a treat that wasn't too indulgent. Or course they went straight into my basket.
What's in Trader Joe's Chocolatey Coated Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Bites?
The first clue I had that "Chocolatey Coated" wasn't just a cute name created by Trader Joe's but probably a legal consideration was the list of ingredients. The "Chocolate Coating" includes sugar, palm kernel oil, chicory root fiber, cocoa powder processed with alkali, soy lecithin, sea salt, and natural vanilla flavor. Cocoa powder made it onto the list as the fourth ingredient, way behind sugar and (eeek) palm oil. I was starting to regret taking these things home, to be honest. I'm not a fan of palm oil, and the ingredients list had a lot of things I didn't recognize.
How Do They Taste?
Despite the ingredients list, I was still looking forward to opening one of these tiny packages. It may not be great for me (let's be honest, I'm not above a sugary snack now and then), but it would taste good, right?
Let's just say ... I was underwhelmed. The taste of brown rice flour was weirdly strong, and the "Chocolatey Coated" layer wasn't very chocolatey (perhaps no surprise). While the snack itself was much like a Rice Krispies Treat with peanut butter instead of marshmallow, I began to realize how important marshmallows are to Rice Krispies Treats. These had a peanut butter flavor, but the rice cereal just tasted like a dry addition to an already-dry peanut butter.
Would I Get Them Again?
Short answer? Nope. While these aren't horrible, they aren't great, either. And while these bites are handy for travel and a convenient 100-calorie snack, they certainly don't quell any craving for chocolate or peanut butter you might have or provide much more than an unsatisfying, chewy bite. I'll just have an apple and a piece of real chocolate (not "chocolatey" goop) instead.